Kāinga Ora—Homes and Communities Bill

In late May the Kāinga Ora—Homes and Communities Bill was introduced to the House.  It creates the long-expected Housing and Urban Development Authority with a new name – Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities. 

The Bill brings together three existing agencies; Housing NZ, its development subsidiary HLC, and the KiwiBuild Unit. It also provides for a Government policy statement (GPS) on housing and urban development which will set out the Government’s overall direction and priorities and how it expects Kāinga Ora and other agencies to meet them. This will be developed in consultation with stakeholders, with the first to be issued by 1 October 2020 and then reviewed every three years.

A second bill introduced later this year will give Kāinga Ora its enabling development powers. This will enable it to undertake specified development projects, which are large-scale, complex urban developments designed to drive real change and urban renewal. The authority will have a streamlined resource management planning and consent process. It will develop project master plans that will replace local plans and be able to build and change infrastructure. It will have the ability to levy or charge local residents to fund infrastructure and development activities and be able to bring together parcels of land.

Property Council has long advocated for the creation of an urban development authority (UDA) having previously submitted on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) discussion document. We strongly support the establishment of these specified development projects as they create significant benefits, including having special powers the private sector does not have and larger balance sheets to undertake a long-term approach to projects. It will also de-risk bigger complex urban development projects and create opportunities in counter cyclical seasons to help smooth boom-bust cycles.

We will be submitting on the Kāinga Ora—Homes and Communities Bill and continuing to engage with policy-makers as the second bill is developed to ensure the new agency partners with the private sector rather than crowding out or replacing it.

Should you require any further information or wish to get involved, please contact James Kennelly.


Author | James Kennelly

James recently returned from the UK where he worked in the House of Commons, then in government relations roles for several regulators, including the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Charity Commission and a UK Exam Board. Prior to this he resided in Wellington and walked our parliamentary halls under the leadership of Phil Twyford and the then Leader of the Opposition, Phil Goff.

James has an exemplary ability to exercise sound judgement in a political environment, a natural flair for communicating the complex and an easy-going manner that makes him approachable yet reliable.

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